WebQuest Create and Access Interactive Quizes and Assessements for Free

Zunal WebQuest Maker is a great web tool for teachers. It is basically a Web-based software for creating WebQuests in a short time without the need for any HTML Coding. I have been going around its main features and was enthralled by the great wealth of educational materials it has.

Zunal WebQuest Maker is completely free and does not require any download. You just need to register and open your free account there. Once a member you will be able to create your own web-based quests. There are more than 100 templates for you to choose from. You can also browse the webquests already provided there to have an idea of what to inlude in them and how they are built.  There is a section called WebQuest Menu on the left hand side where you can access a set of pre made quests made by others. They are organized into different categories such as Art Music, English/Language, Foreign Language....etc. Let'sus now see what it has to offer you.





Some features of Zunal WebQuest Maker

Here is a list of the main features that Zunal WebQuest Maker offers to its users:
  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It allows users to create their own webquests
  • It provides more than 100 templates pre made
  • It lets users attach unlimited files, Youtube and Google Videos
  • You can preview your quest before publishing it
  • It offers some very nice interactive models
  • It ets you add unlimited pages
  • You can add table/ rubric
  • Users can also create quizes and add a photo gallery
  • You can also add maps using Google Maps services
  • You can share your WbQuest with others via email, Facebook. Twitter 
  • You can also export your quests in PDF, Word, or Excel format.

Head over to WebQuest and give it a try.

Hot Potatoes Easily Create Interactive Quizes and Assignments

Hot Potatoes is another awesome tool that allows teachers to create interactive quizes. I have aready talked about this website two years ago in a post here but I am reviewing it again because there has been some interesting updates recently.


potatoes



Hot Potatoes requires a download. You will be able to find the download file you need for your computer. It supports Windows, Mac, and Lunix. If you use Windows like me then look for the version 6.3 and the Java version 6.1. You are already granted license to download so do not worry about privacy issues. Just remember that when you first start up Hot Potatoes, it will ask you for your user name. This is stored on your computer and will be used to identify you as the author of any work you do on Hot Potatoes. So you need to make sure to provide a user name before you start uinsg any of its features.

The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications that will enable you to do the following:

  1. Create interactive multiple-choice exercises
  2. Create short-answer or crossword taska
  3. Make jambled- sentences exersices
  4. Create  matching/ordering and gap-fill exercies

Hot Potatoes is also a freeware which means that you can use it for other legal purposes and projects.

Nottez Easily Take Notes Online

Nottez is a great note taking app for educators and teachers. You can use it to take and save  notes online  at the instant of a click. I know there are several tools that can do the same job as this one but what is really special about Nottez is its simplicity and usability.


nottez



Just head over to Nottez main page and type in a username and a password. You will not be asked to provide any email ID.So as soon as you are logged in you can start  taking notes. Click on ' add new note' and  you will be directed  to a page where you will start jotting down your notes. The platform looks like any word editing tool but with no editing options. Just type in the text and give it a title then click on save or delete. Once the notes are saved you will see them on your page on Nottez.

I recommend this tool to teachers and students. It is one of the best and easiest tools to take notes online.

Gumnotes A Great Annotating and Note Taking Tool

Gumnotes is a great note taking tool that allows its users to stick notes easily to their documents. It does not only allows for  note taking but for annotating web pages too. You can add notes to websites in Firefox, Internet-Explorer and all other website-browsers. You can also annotate your documents in Word, Excel, and images.

Gumnotes is completly free as lomng as it is kept just for personal use but there is also a commercial version that is paid for.


gumnotes


Gumnotes is a great tool for teachers. They can use it to annotate pages and documents, add notes and share it with their students. It is an effective learning method. Grasp everything that is interesting for your students and illustrate it the way you want before you share it.

Some features of Gumnotes

Here is a list of the main features that Gumnote offers to its users:


  • It is free
  • It  requires a download
  • It lets users annotate websites
  • You can use it to add notes to weboages in all browsers
  • You can annotate your Outlook Emails, Followup-Emails, Contacts, Meetings, Appointments.
  • Gumnotes also works with Googlemail to alows users to annotate every sing email
  • It offers reminders and timers
  • It lets you share notes with your friends and colleagues

Watch this video to learn more about gumnotes

Review of American Educational System ( infographic )

Education is possibly the most important issue to focus on if America is to ensure her preeminence in the future. To this effect, online college compiled a report card covering presidential educational initiatives from the last 50 years. This is really a great informative infographic that provides the different stances American presidents took vis a vis education.Learn about apps and downs of the American educational policy during the last five decades.


American educationborder



Read and share.

American Presidents' Stances on Education
Via: Online College Resource

Recordr Easy Way to Record and Share Audio Messages

Recordr is a cool web tool. It, as its name suggests, allows its users to make a recording and share it with the rest of the world. This recording can be done with the use of a microphone a camera and right from your computer.Recordr resembles Qwips the other tool I covered in an earlier post here for they both enable users to make awesone recordings and embed them anywhere online.


recordr



Record can be used by teachers to record important reminders to be posted fro students on the classroom blog. It can also be used to create short tutorials or provide explanations on certain topics in the course.There are several other ways you can use it and it is up to you to see what fits in and what not.

How can I get started using Recordr ?


To make a recording using Recordr just head over to its main page and click on the button' record'. You do not need to sing up if you do not want. Make sure you set up your microphone and camera. You can also make just audio recording by clicking on 'audio only'. When you are done click on ' upload' to make it available on Recordr. Just under your video you will have an embed link to use when sharing it. Just remember that if you are using Recordr as a guest user then you wont be able to delete videos you submit to the website.

Head over to Recordr and give it a try.

Clipgenerator Easily Create and Share Video Clips

Clipgenerator is a great video tool that allows its users to easily create their own video clips. It can be used to compile professional slide shows from your photos, texts and music. There is also a set of automated animations and film clips compiled by professional designers and perfectly tuned to the music for you to include in your digital video creations.





Clipgenerator is very easy to use. You do not need to download any software or go through any registration process. You can start making your videos right from the webpage. Educators and teachers can use this tool to create step by step tutorials on specific topics or themes.

How can I get started  using Clipgenerator?

To make your video clip you need to:


  • Select the photos you want to use . Those can be either on your computer or from Picassa,Flickr,Smugmug or Photobucket.
  • Add music : There is a library of popular songs from various music genres. pick up the ones you want to include
  • Add Text: You can add captions to your video to make it much more expressive.


Head over to Clipgenerator and give it a try.

Capzle Easily Create and Share Rich Media Timelines for Free

Capzles is a cool web service for educators. It is basically a rich media platform where users can create their own Capzles with videos, photos, music, blogs and documents.You save all your productions into a time-line and you can then share it with others on popular social websites or even embed it in your blog or website.

Honestly speaking I was surprised to discover that this website is free given the great features it has in store for users. It just requires a sign up which is simple, quick and easy. Just head over to Capzles main page and slick on sign up. Once logged in you can start creating your new Capzle by clicking on ' create' on the upper tab.

It is like creating a sideshow but just with more interaction and animation. You need to fill in the title and description for each Capzle you make. You can also add tags and select the category under which you want to place it. Click on ' add content' to add videos, docs, PDFs, sideshows, photos ..etc.The next step is to choose a design for your Capzle by selecting the appropriate color, theme and background. Once done add you own music and choose your privacy setting whether you want it public or private. Now that your Capzle is complete you can share it using the sharing options provided there for you.

Head over to Capzle and give it a try.

Here is an example of how the final Cazle might look like

Build yourWild Self Easily Cartonize your Photos

Build your Wild Self is a cool website. It allows its users to create their own self portrait and add animal parts to. It is basically an avatar creation tool. This is a great website for students where they can create their own avatars and use them in conversations and storytelling. It can exponentially improve their critical thinking and imaginative powers.


edweb



Build your Wild Self is very easy to use and does not require any sign up software download or installation. What is even great about this utility is that users can share the avatars they create with their friends using emails, print them out or save them to their desktop.

To start using Build your Wild Self you need to head over to its main page. Select the body you want whether it is for boy or girl. Now click on the different parts of the body shown to your right like for instance: Hair, eyes, mouth and for each part you will be provided a set of examples to choose from. The same applies to clothes, tails, head gear and backgrounds. When you are done you give it a name and click on I am done. If you want to send it to a friend just click on the button ' send to friend' or ' Get a wild desktop' to save it to your computer.

Here is an example of the avatar I created , it looks funny lol.


edweb example

EdWeb A Great Professional Learning Network for Educators

EdWeb is a great website for educators. It is basically a platform where you can build your own personal learning network or join other online collaborative communities to explore new ways to enrich and improve your professional development.As a matter of fact, nobody can ever argue the importance of PLN ( Professional learning network ) in education.They are a part and parcel of today's educational approach to life long learning. If you haven't built one then EdWeb is a good start for you.


edweb



EdWeb is a professional social network for the the education community. You need to be a member to start using this website. Among the things that EdWeb can do for you are :


  1. It will enable you to connect  with other colleagues in education
  2. It lets you create professional learning communities
  3. It provides support for new teachers
  4. It is a good help in the practice of the 21st century skills.


Here are some examples of the featured Professional Learning Communities you can join in EdWeb :


  1. Emerging Tech for School Libraries
  2. Exploring eBooks for k-12 Education
  3. Game- Based Learning
  4. Tech Tools for The Classroom
  5. Using your Student Data for Student Achievement


Head over to EdWeb to explore more.

A List of Top Educational Infographics ( Slideshow )

Infographics are gaining a strong foothold in the field of education.We are witnessing a sweeping surge in infographics talking about educational issues but some of the  companies that create them are not really interested in education but rather in SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ). Anyway I will not engage you in this topic here for it is not what this post is about and . For me as long as the infographic is based on solid background data and tackles the subjects we are interested in then why not thumbing it up,  we do not care whether the person who created it wants just to draw traffic to his or her website but as long as the infographic itself contains valid and correct data then why not share it.The aim is learning and not judging people's intentions after all. I said this because  I have been engaged in such a debate about infographics in one of the  webinars I held recently and I just want to make it clear once for all.


infographic



That being said, I would like to insist on the validity and usability of the infographics I include in my blog. Before I share one here it  has to go through a filtering process including a small investigation about the creator of the infographic  and many many  other things. Anyway and without any further ado, the following are some of the popular infographics that have been making rounds online and that I have also included in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Read and share the knowledge.

This presentation is done in Google Docs






This one here is done using  Issuu





Cassiopedia Free High Definition Science Education Videos

Cassiopedia is a great website for educators. This is a project that aims at facilitating the teaching and learning of science. It has a wide range of resources that teachers can use in their lesson plans and with their students. Some of the videos included are also designed for students which makes it an educational resource worth introducing to your class.


cassiopedia



Cassiopedia offers free high definition science education  videos . " While the videos are self- contained, they are embedded in a larger story intended to generate interest in the science." The videos can also be found in the Beyond Campus section of iTunes U.

This website is very easy to use. It does not require a sign up or any software download. Just head over to its main page. Click on the tab named 'videos' and start browsing its content. The videos are organized into different categories such as Biology, Space, Physics, Evolution,General Science and many more. Click on any video and you will be directed to a page where you can have more info about it such as its description, title, duration and a link for download.

Wizehive A Great Free Collaborative Workspace for Educators

Wizehive is a great web tool It allows its users to share files, manage projects, track their activity and collaborate with others. It is basically a secure and private collaborative workspace that combines several tools into one single platform.


wizehive


Wizehive combines a form builder, task manager, activity feed and workflow sheets. Educators and teachers can use it to share projects and assignments with their students. They can also use it to share conversations, notes, tasks, calendars, files and all other kinds of data. It is very secure and private so no issues for your students or their parents.

Users can enter what they want to share with others either from withing Wizehive, via emal or from Twitter and other mobile devices.I believe this is a great collaborative tool that students can bebenfit from a lot. It does require a sign up but does not call for any software download or registration.

Head over to Wizehive and give it a try.

Bookemon Easily Create Digital Ebooks for Free

Bookemon is a great website for educators. It allows its users to create, read and share books online. It is basically a " personal, digital and professioanlly printed book creation and sharing utility." Users can easily, without the need for any HTML coding or any other advanced technological wizardry, upload their graphics, documents, photos and turn them into awesome books. If you are looking for a free platform where you can get free tools to create your books and also host them then Bookemon is the right solution for you.


bokemon



Bookemon features a bookstore where you can save your digital productions. You can also use their libary to look for books you want to read but you will have to pay to purchase one.If you think  that you have a book worth selling then go ahead and put it for sale on Bookemon, you can even get an ISBN number and barcode for it. With this ISBN number you will be able to advertise ,market and sell  your books to the world through major book sellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Borders.

Bookemon requires registration for you need to become a member to start uploading your content. The membership and other utilities provided in this website are all free and the obly thing you will need to pay for is when you decide to order bookstore quality books that have been published by you, your firends or other members.

Head over to Bookemon and give it a try.

Chill Create, Share and Organize Videos for Free

Chill is a cool web service that allows its users to create and share collections of their favourite videos. This is exactly like Pinterest for videos.If you are looking for a neat and clean interface where you can glean all your videos then Chill is the solution for you.


chill



Chill is a free video platform that requires a sign up. Just head over to its main page and open your free account there. Once logged in you can then start organizing your videos the way you want. You can even add videos with your comments to different categories. You can create as many categories as you want and via appropriately tagging your videos. they will appear just like a sticky note on a wall. The look reminds me of Wall Wisher the other tool that helps you organize your notes on a wall.

Chill supports videos from a wide range of popular video hosting platforms including Youtube, Vimeo, Vevo, and Hulu.
Head over to Chill and give it a try.

A List of Free Apps for Students with Hearing and Visual Impairment

People with disabilities have just the same right to enjoy life the same way normal people do. It really rips the heart to see someone with a certain impairment trying hard to do the simplest things in life with such a hardship. These people struggle with the day to day situations that we might simply take for granted or do not really have an entire appreciation of .

Imagine having to teach visually impaired students or those with hearing problems.Do you think they are having an easy school life like the other mates ? The answer is definitely no. They are in fact doubling the efforts to catch up with the rest of the class. Thankfully with the integration of technology into education we can help these students and give them a leg up.

Reach out for mobile technology apps and you will find a plethora of educational apps designed just to help students with different impairments. I know not everybody can have access to them because mobile technology gadgets to run them on such as iDevices are still scant in schools but this is not an excuse not to introduce some to your students. They might get their parents to buy them these devices. Additionally, there is an ongoing revolution in the world of education due to mobile technology boom and schools are now planning to get iPads and use digital textbooks. Some in the United States have already started experimenting the use of digital Chrome Books. That is really very promising and we are very sure that this is just the beginning and there is more to come.

In this regard, The Best of Mobile Technology has gathered and reviewed some of the apps that you can use with your students. These apps are for students with hearing and visual impairement. I have included these apps into different presentations to make it easy for you to share and access them anytime you want.

Here is the presentation in Google Docs






Here is the same presentation using Issuu


Free URL Shortening Tools for Teachers

Using the shortened form of URL is a great way for you to advertise and share web contents. Sometimes long URLs get broken causing people who click on them to cut and psate them back. This is not practical at all given that we are living  in an age that is ripe with awesome web 2.0 tools that can help you perform almost anything you want.

url shorteners


Being educators and teachers you might also be in need of URL shortening services that will enable you to securely shorten your URL and share it with your colleagues or students. Below are Some of the most popular URL Shorteners.

I have included these tools in a presentation that you will find below. You can download, save and share it with your colleagues.

Fur.ly
This web tool lets you place up to 50 URLs . It also allows its users to link multiple web sites to a single URL.

Google URL Shortener
 This is one of my favourite shortening tools and probably the best online. It not only shortens  your URLs but also keeps track of the history of your shrotened links and provides you with analytics on how many people clicked on them and so forth.

TinyURL

This is also another great free  tool that makes posting long URL easier. You can drag and drop its bookmarklet to your toolbar. It works on all major web browsers as long as your bokmarks and favourites allows javascript.


Bit.ly

This service allows its users to shorten as many URLs as they want. It also lets them share and track analytics of their links.


Cli.gs

This is a short URL service that shortens long links for easier sharing with friends on Twitter and Facebook, over email or IM.


Snip URL

this tool allows users to shorten many URLs at once.You can also drag its bookmarklet to your browser for easy use. It does require a sing up.


Is.gd

This is another great short URL service. It does not require a sing up


V.gd

This one here is like Is.gd for they have the same features and almost the same platform.


Tweetburner

This tool lets you shorten URLs and track what happens with links you share on Twitter.

Here is the presentation in Google Docs







Here is the same presentation in Issuu



Week in Review The Most Popular posts in Educational Technology and Mlearning

Hello everyone. This is Med sending you his best wishes from Halifax. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and I hope you are not away from your computers or iDevices so that you can read at least this post.
As is the habit every weekend I compile here the most popular and viewed articles on Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. If you haven't had the chance to read them then you can bookmark and access them as you wish.


most popular posts







Have you already subscribed to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning ? If not this is how to do it :

  1-   Subscribe via RSS
  2-   Like Educational Technology and Mobile Learning on Facebook
  3-   Find Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Google Plus
  4-   Follow Educational Technology and Mobile Learning on Twitter

My other blog The Best of Mobile Technology is gaining subscribers everyweek. If you want to learn more about how to use mobile technology such as smart phones, tablets, and apps in education , please check out The Best of Mobile Technology and let me know what you think.

Thank you very much for your support and enjoy your weekend.

Add Voice Narration to Presentations Using HelloSlide

HelloSlide is a cool web tool that allows its users to create awesome slides together with voice narration. Yes now your slides will look like a lecture.There are some other tools  online that enable users to embed audio clips into their presentations but HelloSlide is different in that it has an automatic translator that converts your text into speech. You just type in your narration and HelloSlide will transform it into audio captions that will accompany each slide you choose.


helloslide



Do not expect to hear a pure human sound for this is not even available in the most sophisticated speech to text  tools such as SIRI but rather a robitic translation which is still very good and better than many other translations elsewhere.

Some features of HelloSide

Here is a list of the main features that HelloSlide offers to its users:


  • It is has a free version with certain limitations ( just 50 presentation )
  • It generates audio for your slides
  • It makes your presentations searchable, editable and available in more than 20 languages
  • It is very easy to use, just upload a PDF of your presentation , use the ditor to type in the speech for each slide, and press play to hear your your presentation



Head over to HelloSlide and give it a try

Qwips Create and Share Free Voice Messages

Qwips is a new web tool that allows users to create short audio messages. This is like Audioboo but way simpler and easier to use.Teachers can use Qwips to record quick reminders for their students and post them on the class blog. This is also a good way to keep your students updated on assignments and homework.


qwips



Qwips is very easy to use. Just head over to its main page and sing in using your Facebook or Twitter account. Once logged in you can then click on record and start talking . You have up to 30 seconds of recording length so you better know how to effectiely use it. When your audio message is ready Qwips generates a URL for you so that you can use to share your messages. You can embed it on your blog or share it with others via email. You can also use your audio message as an image caption a feature that is not found in Audioboo.

Some features of Qwips

Here is a list of the main features that Qwips offers to its users:


  • It is free
  • It lets users record audio messages
  • It offers up to 30 seconds of recording length
  • It allows users to take a photo with a voice caption
  • It lets you tag a video with a voice intro or  narration
  • It lets you enliven your emails by including voice messages as signatures
  • You can add voice emoticons to SMS, comments and reviews.


Head over to Qwips and give it a try.

Libreoffice A Free Great Alternative to Microsoft Office Suite

Libreoffice is a free open source office suit software that you can download and install for free. This is my favourite office suite and  I even prefer it over the Open Office. Libreoffice has a set of writing and editing tools that resemble  Microsoft Office.So if you already know how to open an office and write a document or spreedsheet then you will find Libreoffice way easier.


libreoffice



Libreoffice is free and there is no fear of copyright infringements. It works on almost all the major operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux ( Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse,...)

Some features of Libreoffice

Here is a set of the main features that Libreoffice offers to its users :
It is free
It requires a download
It is available in several languages
It has LGPL public license
It is user friendly
It has an intuitive interface that you can easily customize
It is compatible with all major competitor file formats
It lets you import files from Microsot  Word, Excel and PowerPoint and many other formats, and can easily save to Microsoft Office and other formats when needed.


Head over to Libreoffice and give it a try

Vidcaster Easily Create your Free Video Website

Vidcaster is a great web tool for educators. It is basically a platform where users can store and organize their videos. It is your first step to create a video website where you can showcase your video library. This service has both a free and pro version but the free one is already generous enough for us in education.

Vidcaste is easy to use and does require a quick registration after which you will be prompted to connect your Vidcaster account with your YouTube one.Once connected you can then start fetching videos from your YouTube and get them organized in your Vidcaster page. There is a nice collection of display templates to choose from if you want to customize the look of your page.


vidcaster


Some features of Vidcaster

Here is a list of the main features that Vidcaster provides to its users:


  • It is easy and simple to use
  • It allows users to create video websites from their YouTube uploads
  • It offers a library of professionally customized themes
  • Automatic syncing with your YouTube channel


Head over to Vidcaster and give it a try

Infographic on The Digital Classroom

There is a growing buzz in the educational sphere around digital textbooks. Since the launch of iBooks 2 and iBooks Author and the educational technology experts are investigating the potential of these new revolutionary tools. Google is not disassociated from the scene and it is trying to take a foothold with a huge project called Chrome books. So the question that really needs an urgent answer is : are  we in front of  a ferocious competition between Google and Apple to gain more sales via investing in education or is it really the beginning of a digital revolution in education?






Anyway I can not provide an answer yet as it is too early to judge the intentions behind these huge moves but what is really amazing is the fact that the infographic world is keeping track of these innovations and is providing us with awesome infographics too. The Digital Classroom is an example. There are quite many others that cover this issue and that I have included in previous posts here, you can check out Educational Infographics section to learn more.

Read this and share it with others.

The Digital Classroom
Via: Accredited Online Universities Guide

Online Video Training Brings the Classroom to Your iPod


Online video training sites typically offer video or audio recordings of classes taught at colleges and universities across the nation. Users can tune in to these free-of-charge class sessions and follow along. While students can’t get credit for classes taken on YouTube, and iTunes U – as these do not offer degrees – the information in the lectures is often the same as what students get in live classes.




Online Video Training: Key Benefits

Online video training is growing in popularity. In August 2010, Apple announced iTunes U had surpassed 300 million downloads after only three years in operation. MIT’s OpenCourseWare project continues to add new classes at the rate of 50 a year, and YouTube EDU offers over 200 complete courses. Corporations like Volvo are also adopting the new technology to personalize training across thousands of employees worldwide.
Students are flocking to video training options because of its advantages such as:
  • Overcoming barriers of distance. In August 2010, American surgeons began giving counterparts in Nepal live video instruction on surgical techniques. This was a dramatic illustration of the power of online video training to overcome barriers of distance.
  • Facilitating frequent training. In some fields, and especially in technology, change happens rapidly. Online tech training is one way to meet the demand for frequent updates of knowledge and techniques. Professionals who many not have time or money to pay for refresher courses can take advantage of online video training to stay abreast of current trends or brush up before certification or licensing exams.
  • Using up-to-date communication styles. A Department of Education analysis of over a thousand studies of online learning found that on average, students did better under online learning conditions than with face-to-face instruction. A survey of more than 200 medical students found that an overwhelming majority believed that technology — including video game applications — would enhance their instruction.
  • Enhancing information retention. One study found that introducing a video element to instructional programs enhanced long-term retention of the material, perhaps because of the heightened visual dimension of the content.

Online Video Training: Best Practices

Clearly, online video training has several potential applications and benefits, but not all online video training is created equal. Users of online video training should make the distinction between the following forms of training:
  • Vendor-generated video. Vendors of various products, especially in the realm of technology, often produce videos instructing users on the correct application of their products. Online tech training using vendor-generated videos for specific products can be very effective, as long as the user understands that the material does not represent an objective overview of the entire field.
  • In-house videos. In-house videos can be valuable where the focus is on company policy or proprietary techniques. Where broader subject matter is concerned, it can be helpful to introduce outside expertise.
  • Accredited, academic online video training. Material produced by accredited academic institutions is likely to contain the highest-quality content, and can also be part of a formal degree or certification program which allows customers and/or potential employers to recognize the level of training an individual has received. In short, formal programs make sure that the acquired skills are not only useful, but that they are marketable too.
Online training can be a great resource, but it does have its limitations. For one thing, sites like YouTube don’t generally vouch for the quality of the instruction, meaning some courses may be pure brilliance while others may be little more than a series of PowerPoint slides and a lecturer droning on in the background. And unlike online computer certifications, most video training programs don’t allow for interactivity, so if students get confused, they’re on their own. Students needing in-depth instruction or those who are looking to tackle highly technical fields may find degree programs or accredited certification courses better meet their needs.
Online video training can come in many forms, but in the right format, it’s a valuable tool to update skills, prepare for certification exams, or finally audit that class on the history of rock and roll.

Debbie Lawrence is a content editor who primarily writes for an online schooling blog. You can contact her at dlawrence2[@]quinstreet.com with any suggestions, questions, or comments. You can find her on Twitter here

Free Math Resources, Lesson Plans, Games and Printables

I have been recently working on a small project to collect free math resources for some teachers in my area ( Halifax , Canada ) and what started as a small project ended up as a big research that took me up to a week which I hardly can afford out of my extremely busy schedule. Anyway I am glad it is finished and I am evern happier that several math teachers ( more than 30  ) who attended the workshop liked the materials provided.


math resources


Ironically enough, I am an English teacher and have nothing to do with math but still took the responsibility to run the workshop and provide the resources. I have read, re-read, reviewed and tested  numerous  links  and finally with the suggestions and help of Math  teachers, we selected 21 websites . I have included the websites in the presentation that you are going to see below.

The links included here are all educational websites where you can find evertyhting that is related to Math such as flashcards, games, puzzels, lesson plans, excersises and their solutions, interactive displays, diagrams and videos. I have also included the same presentation in three different version in Google docs, Issuu, and Slideshare, choose you feel comfortable with.

Free Math Resource in Google Docs







Free Math Resources in Slideshare




Free Math in Issuu

Easily Showcase your Stories Using Jux

Jux is a great website. It allows its users to create awesome slideshows and impressive statements. Jux is one of the best showcase for your stories. You can embed videos and photos from your hard drive or from a URL. This service is very easy to use and does not require any advanced technological knowledge. If you know how to make a slideshow then Jux is even easier.


jux



Jux is free to use but also has a premium version for upgraded features. As teachers and students, the free version is sufficient. Students can use Jux to showcase their projects and assignments.Currently Jux allows only one jux per user which is the only inconvenience I have remarked while reviewing this service.

Jux is like a blogging software where you can publish your posts and tag them.It also allows for HTML customization if you know how to do it. When you publish a post which can be anything ( slideshow, text, video, photos ) you will be able to share it with the rest of the world using Twitter, Facebook and Email. I wish they added the embed option too but until now those were the only three ways to advertise and share your Jux.
Head over to Jux and give it a try.

LearnBoost A Free Management Tool for Educators

LearnBoost is a great web tool for teachers. It allows them to manage their classroom via the use of  a gradebook, creating lesson plans, tracking attendance, maintaining schedules. It also has some of Google's tools built in its software such as calendars,tagging of Common Core standards and much more.


learnboost



Teachers can use LearnBoost services for a variety of purposes. They can for instance use the Gradebook to:

  1. Track students progress
  2. Generate awesome reports
  3. Track analytics in real time
  4. create rich lessons plans


LearnBoost requires a sign up. There are three sections one for teachers, another for parents, and the last for students. Users need to specify which ones they want to register under.

 Here is a video tutorial to help you learn more about LearnBoost


Take the LearnBoost Tour! | Free Online Gradebook from LearnBoost on Vimeo.

Live Translator A Great Translating Tool for Educators.

Live Translator is a great web tool provided by Microsoft to allow users to instantly and easily translate text and web pages to languages they choose. This tool looks like Translator Bookmarklet with the only difference that this latter is a bookmarklet and Live Translator is not.



You can use Live Translator either as a regular text translator or as a browser for translating entire web pages. To use the first option you need to just copy and paste the text the boxes in the main page but to use the browser translations then you will have more features which are indeed so practical. To translate a whole web page all you need to do is to copy and paste its URL as shown in the video tutorial below. You will then choose the language into which you want to translate the page and then select the type of view you want .

There are actually 4 bilingual view layouts :

 1- Top/ bottom : in which you will be able to see the original web page in the first half of your window and the translated version in the second half.
2- Translation with hover original : in which you will see the original version whenver you howver on a word or title
3- Original with hover translation: This is the opposite of the previous one, you will see the translated version of anything you hover your mouse over
4- Side by Side : you will be able to see both the original and translated version of your web page on the same screen one is to the right and the other to the left and whatever you do on one is replicated and translated to the other.

Head over to Live Translator and give it a try


Watch this video tutorial to learn more.

The Educational Use of Mobile Phones

The world is going mobile. The new sweeping technological changes and the introduction of smart mobile devices into our life have hugely transformed the way education is delivered. Everywhere you turn you spot someone deeply sucked into his/ her mobile. I know not all users use their smart devices for educational ends  but there is a growing category of teenagers that are trying the educational potential of these appliances.


educational apps



Below is an infogrpahic that provides interesting data of how students use their mobile phones to study. I am really glad to know that some students are giving the example to others of how phones can be used to perform better.
Read and share

Mobile Studying & Online Flashcards on Smartphones [Infographic]
Via: STUDYBLUE.com

Comparison between American Publich School Systems and others. ( infographic )

Below is a great infographic that compares the American public school system to some other countries like Canada, Great Britain, France, China and many more.Read the alarming stats that are annoying American public policy makers. You might be suprised to see that the educational system of the world's super power deteriorating but I don;t think it is only America, I think several other schools systems suck too.




" For years, Americans have been concerned about falling behind in education, and there may be some truth in that. World education rankings reveal that the United States falls behind a number of other nations in reading, science and math, and U.S, Education Secretary Arne Ducan has called it a " wake-up call for America "How does the U.S rate ? "

Read and share.

The American Public School System in a Global Context
Via: OnlineCollege.org

Flipped Classroom A New Learning Revolution

There has been a growing buzz around a recently coined phrase " Flipped Classroom". This term starts to take root in education as more and more educators are discovering it. So what is this all about and what are its advantages in learning and teaching? ( Awesome Infographic included below )


flipped classroom



Flipped Classroom is an inverted method of instruction where teaching and learning take place online outside of the class while  homework is done in the classroom. Advocators of this approach believe that this is the ideal method of instruction in our digital age. They basically build their judgement on the following facts :


  • Flipped Classroom shifts the learning responsibility and ownership  from the teacher's hands  into the students'.
  •  Students tend to perform better when they control when, where and how they learn.
  • Teachers no longer dispense knowledge but rather guide and direct while students are the real active learners 
  • Teachers create animated videos and interactive lessons and lectures and students access them at home in advance of class even. In this way all students can re-watch the video tutorials whenever they want.
  • Classroom time can be geared towards data collection, collaboration, and application.
  • Class becomes a place for students to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning.
  • Flipped Classroom also "allows teachers to reflect on and develop quality and engaging learning opportunities and options for internalization, creation, and application of content rather than just fluff or time filling assignments."

   Here is a model of Flipped Classroom as provided by Jackie Gerstein

flipped classroom model


Flipped Classroom depends a lot on educational technology and web 2.0 tools such as podcasting and screencasting applications.

"In most Flipped Classrooms, there is an active and intentional transfer of some of the information delivery to outside of the classroom with the goal of freeing up time to make better use of the face-to-face interaction in school. When appropriate, information transfer typically takes advantage of technologies like podcasting or screencasting. This allows for more time to individualize instruction in the class time and keeps content alive for remediation, review, or other reference when needed. Learners have immediate and easy access to any topic when they need it, leaving the teacher with more opportunities to expand on higher order thinking skills and enrichment. Offloading some information transfer allows a classroom to develop that understands the need for teacher accessibility to overlap with cognitive load. That is, when students are assimilating information, creating new ideas, etc. (upper end of Bloom's Taxonomy) the teacher is present to help scaffold them through that process."


A direct and concrete example of Flipped Classroom concept is the popular Khan Academy. This website  has completely reshaped home instruction via providing more than 2800 free videos and tutorials available in 16 languages and covering a wide range of topics such as Math, Physics, Geometry, cosmology, microeconomics and many more. Flipped Classroom should not be thought of as a single stand alone instruction cycle but rather as a part of a general educational systems that overlaps with other instructional tools such as Blended Learning, Universal Design for Learning, Inquiry Learning, Reverse Learning, and Online Learning.




Image Credit : Jackie Gerstein




Watch this video to learn more about Flipped Classroom






Read the following inforgraphic for more details



Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media




Here are two other web resources on Flipped Classroom:



Microsoft Translator To Translate Anything with A Single Click

Translator Bookmarklet is a great tool provided by Microsoft. As you can guess from its name , this tool allows users to instantly translate the content of any webpage into several languages and all with a single click. There are several add-on and extensions that translate text but this one here is very accurate and I perfer it to many others.


translator



To start using Translator Bookmarklet you need to head over to its main page. and choose your language and then drag the bookmarklet, as shown in the video, to your browser. Whenever you are reading a text that you want to translate , you just choose the laguage to which you want the content to be translated and there you go.
Translator Bookmarklet does not require any software download or registration. It is all free

Watch this video I made to learn how to use Translator Bookmarklet.


File Lab Free audio and Video Editing Software

File Lab is a cool website for educators. It provides its users with tools to edit both their video and audio files right from their browsers. If you used to work on your audio files in a softeware different from the one you use for videos then File Lab will help you use one platform for both purposes.

To start using File Lab you will first need to install the apps on your desktop which will then be connected to your browser as a plugin . This will enable you to quickly launch a video or audio file in your browser and start editing it such as adding effects, trimming the tracks and many more.


filelab



Some features of File Lab


Here is a list of the main features that File Lab offers to its users:


  • It is free
  • It lets you edit video and audio online
  • It lets you customize your videos via actions such as : split, cut, rotate, mix, add effects, add overlays, and add texts
  • It lets you save your videos and share them with others
  • It allows you to rework your audio files online
  • It allows you to customize your audio files
  • It lets you save them in popular formats
  • It also has a section for scanning, cleaning and fixing your Windows.


Head over to File Lab and give it a try

Can Technology Save Today's Education ? ( Infographic )

Is it true that today's youth are not really interested in schooling? " teacher I hate school " this is what  I was told by one of my  grade 12  students in a public school in Halifax just two days ago.I know this is a single case but it is just the emerging part of the iceberg. Below is an example of the American case. Read the frightening stats about test scores  and drop out rates among students. America is not alone in this for ,out of my decent expeirnece in teaching in different countries in Africa and Europe and now in Canada, I can strongly confirm the fact that several other educational systems suffer more or less  the same flaws.


save education


" Open any newspaper and the story is the same: The American educational system is tragically failing our youth.Student test scores are dismal and drop out rates are astronomical . But many experts believe  that the burgeoning field of educational technology provides hope and with Apple's big announcement this week, they might just be right".

Do you think technology and Apple in particular can do any good to our educational failures? Is is the remedy we have been long waiting for ? read the infographic below to learn more and don't forget to share it with your colleagues and friends.

Can tech save education?
Via: OnlineEducation.net

Google Correlate Learn More about your Searches

Google Correlate is a website that allows its users to determine patterns in the use of search terms over time and compare it according to specific regions. It looks like Google Trends but with slight differences. Google Correlate can help you determine some extra info about your search terms such as which ones are more popular in winter, which ones were most likely to be issued in 2005,...etc.


:google


According to Google Correlate some search words tend to have much popularity in certain states of America rather than in others.So for users to be able to find terms whose pattern of activity across the US reflects their own US states dataset, they need to enter their data using the search bar in the main page and hit " search correlations".

If you are interested in tracking the trending search terms then you can use Google Correlate to stay up-to-date.

Watch this video to learn more about Google Correlate.

Documentary Heaven Free Documentaries for Educators

Documentary Heaven is a free website that provides free documentaries. It has a wide library that contains up to 2100 videos and will soon have more for its user base is growing up fast. After going through some of its features I decided to add this video resource to The Best Free Educational Documentary Websites I have been compiling here.
Documentary Heaven  is free and does not ask for any software download or installation. Users can start browsing straight away.Just like most of the documentary websites I have covered before, Documentary Heaven organizes its content into a wide range of categories such as Educational Human Rights, Archaeology, Psychology, Health, Evolution, Environment, Economics, Mystery, Nature, Philosophy and many more. The videos are sourced from different video platforms including, but not limited to, YouTube.



documentaryheaven


Documentary Heaven also allows its users to contribute with their own videos. There is a tab in the upper bar called ' submit ' which can be used for this purpose. There is also a Forum where users get to ask questions about documentaries or the like and get answers from others.

I do recommend Documentary Heaven to educators and teachers. Give it a try and I am pretty sure you will find content to include in your future lesson plans.

iPad VS Textbooks Which is Best for Education

With the start of 2012 Apple announced two major products geared towards education. The aim is to provide digital textbooks and probably replace traditional textbooks forever. iBooks ( a virtual library where users can read and download ebooks they want ) and iBooks Author ( an app that allows users to create their own textbooks ) have been making the news for a while now. The educational Technology experts have welcomed this move towards the digitisation of education but have also expressed some of their fears or let's say setbacks that would stand against the implimentation of Apple's ideas in education.



 digital textbooks


Read the infographic below to learn more about the obstacles facing schools and teachers when it comes to choosing between iPads or Textbooks.

iPads vs. Textbooks
Created by: Online Teaching Degree

FreePhoto Educational Resource of Photos for Teachers and Students

FreePhoto is a website that provides a large collections of images developed by Ian Britton. It has over 132516 images with 182 sections organized into 3639 categories. Some of the photos in this website are free and others are under a licensing fee.
Students can use this library to look for photos to include in their project works provided that they adhere to the Student Use Guidelines. FreePhoto allows its users to look for photos using either the galleries or keywords. Galleries have images organized under several headings such as the location where the photo was taken, Subject ( sunset, season ) and many more.


freephoto


"Also non-commercial users may download our web size images to use off-line in school projects, church services, cards, leaflets, etc. Basically if your off-line use is not commercial you can download our web size images for free."
Head over to FreePhoto and give it a try.


Documentaryz Free Video Resource for Educators

Documentaryz is a great web resource for educators. It offers thousands of  documentaries for free. I have just discovered this website today and after reviewing it I think it is worth including in The Best Free Documentaries for Teachers list.



documentaryz


Documentaryz has a good user interface and is very easy to navigate. The videos included in its library are basically YouTube videos but there are also videos from other video hosting platforms. There are several categories that you can browse through to find your content such as Art, Animal and Nature, Business, History, Biagraphy, Military, Media, Funny, Music, Psychology, Environmental, ..and many more.

Documentaryz is free of charge and does not require any installation or software download. You also have the choice whether to open a free account or just use it as a guest user. If you register with them you will have added features such as being able to track your history of videos watched, organize playlists and interact with the community.
If you are a teacher and want some media resources then consider Documentaryz you might find something interesting you can share with your students.

Masher Create Videos from Photos, Text and Music

Masher is a popular video service that allows its users to create videos by mixing together video clips, music tracks, and photos. You can also use text throughout your videos.The process is very simple and easy to use.Using drag and drop, your video will be ready in a matter of few minutes.
If you feel like not creating a video of your own then you can check Masher library for videos uploaded by others. Masher features a large collection of video clips from some very known services such as BBC's Motion Gabllery and Rip Curl video. It also has a large music library, and video player skins.


masher



Some features of Masher

Here is a list of the main featuresbthat Masher offers to its users :


  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It lets you create videos out of images and audio clips
  • You can add music, text and special effects to your videos
  • You can share your created videos with others via posting them in sites such as Facebook, MySpace, or through email


Head over to Masher and give it a try

 
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